Doctor Comments on Death of Young Wrestler

Humanitarian, author, and honorary director at Suwa Chuo Hospital in Nagano, Dr. Kamata Minoru commented on the recent death of lower division wrestler Shobushi. Suetake Kiyotaka (Shobushi’s real name) was the first known case of coronavirus within professional sumo, followed by his stablemaster Takadagawa, senior stablemate Hakuyozan, and four other lower division wrestlers from his stable. The latter six recovered quickly after admission to the hospital, but Shobushi remained for over a month. The young man died of pneumonia and multiple organ failure on Wednesday, May 13th.

Dr. Kamata:

“Shobushi was a charming wrestler who delighted the fans with his comic sumo routine. It comes as a shock, simply because he still had so much life ahead of him. Plenty of Japanese in their 20s to 40s are infected with the virus, but it is beyond sad that he died at the young age of 28.

“To prevent coronavirus from turning into a serious illness, diagnosis and treatment in the early stages are vital. He was slow to be brought to the hospital, four days after his fever began, and it became a serious condition that the medical system could not catch up with.

“I believe diabetes was also a major risk factor in his case. According to the World Health Organization, the worldwide death rate when it comes to coronavirus is 2%, but for patients with diabetes it goes up to 9.2%. What we understand about this disease is that it is easy for blood clots to form and block blood vessels. It begins with pneumonia but does not end there; blood vessels begin to deteriorate, then comes organ failure affecting kidneys, liver, etc. Same with this case. The cause of death was multiple organ failure. It can be easy to overdo it, eating and drinking, but it’s important not to become overweight in this situation.

“We need to prioritize a medical system that processes many tests like a developed country, so as not to let this wrestler’s death be for nothing. The PCR test should be combined with antigen and antibody tests. Conventional wisdom may not apply here, but using the differences in each test so that we can treat based on early diagnoses will be the key to saving lives.”

Dr. Kamata Minoru was born June 28, 1948 in Tokyo. He graduated from Tokyo Medical and Dental University and from there became director at Nagano’s Suwa Chuo Hospital. At Suwa Chuo he put the “health promoting exercise” program in place. Dr. Kamata contributed to turning Nagano, a prefecture that had a high mortality rate among stroke patients, into Japan’s longest living prefecture. As the leader of the Japan-Iraq Medical Network since 2004, he has been offering aid to Iraq by sending medicine to children’s hospitals and providing continued medical examinations for refugee camps in the northern region. These are just a few of his many contributions to a better world.


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